Pathfinder™ Template System
The Pathfinder™ system is comprised of a range of templates that attach to your WoodRat. They can make tenons, dovetails and half-blind dovetails, and an infinite variety of simple shapes for a multitude of things.
The technology is a development of the main WoodRat system of router and router plate but with a half baseplate that interlocks with a variety of templates to control the movement of the router, and the workpiece.
For the beginner the benefit is that it can be quickly learnt, and for the professional it turns out perfect work at speed, making it ideal for repeating work in a busy commercial workshop.
The Pathfinder came about as a way of making tenons with rounded ends exactly to fit the round ends of mortises made with the router bit. Something was needed to track the bit around, rounding off the tenon ends. Trying to do this freehand with the router was difficult, and carving them round takes time. So, we devised the tenon template that travels in the MB3 Mitre Box under the baseplate going East West, while you move the router with a straight bit North South, all guided by a pin, tracking around the pathways in the template.
Our MR4 Mortise Rail is versatile enough for digging out all kinds of mortises: it holds the two stiles of a door frame in its trough together so that the same arrangement of stops could be set for repeating the mortises exactly opposite each other, and you can cut the groove to fit the panels easily. The dagger beneath the trough has a plunge pin to catch the pegs in the channel
Having perfected the tenons we found that we could make a template to cut through dovetails, simply, easily and well.
But, the star of the show is the drawer-making ability of the half-blind template. It sets up the dovetail sockets opposite the tail pockets, to be cut with the same bit. One pass does both tail and pin, and they just lock together. The bit is our 1-in-7 classic bit so the result is quick and craftsmanlike. A typical drawer can be jointed in less than five minutes, which makes the Pathfinder a commercial proposition for proper classic drawers, saving time and money.
In fact, any shape you need such as stars and Christmas trees, toy parts and cams for automata and heart shaped boxes, can all be cut using an appropriate shape glued into the blank template.
You can even make secret or hidden dovetails with the half-blind template so think Pathfinder™ when next you want to make perfect boxes with some nicely grained wood, and don't want to show the joints.
Because it's fairly simple to cut new templates with CNC machinery (all you need is a data file to work from) we can offer a service whereby any shape can be cut out of 3mm material, and laid in the blank template, which you can use to cut any shape you need... for toys and letters and logos and decorative shapes of all kinds.
Any of our templates for through dovetails and half blind dovetails can be made to sizes and pitches different from those shown in our catalog. Just ask us for a quote.